Video of the Month: Southern Swagger

We loved Andre Marshall II's video on dancemedia.com. In fact, it was the Editors’ Choice winner for Dance Teacher’s February Video of the Month! Marshall was featured in DT June.

In the video, Marshall teaches an intermediate/advanced hip-hop combination for Spectrum’s Dance Factory in Jacksonville, Florida. The one-time performer for Monsters of HipHop and Timbaland, and choreographer for Pitbull, describes his style as “Southern, grimy hip hop” and draws inspiration from choreographers like Tabitha and Napoleon D’umo, Luther Brown and Tony Czar. Marshall leaves room in his loose, grounded choreography for dancers to choose some of their own transitions and pick out accents in the music. “It’s not like studio hip hop, where you go to L.A. and everybody looks the same. It’s more smooth, and I think more fun,” he says.

Operated by Marshall’s mother, Spectrum’s uses studio space at University of North Florida three days a week. Faculty members active in the Florida commercial dance scene teach open adult classes in all levels of hip hop, contemporary jazz and street jazz.

The winning video (also at dancemedia.com/v/7970):

Want to build buzz about your studio, workshop or class? Posting videos to the Dance Teacher Video of the Month Contest is quick, easy and free—and it’s a great way to get noticed. If your video is selected as Editors’ Choice, you’ll be featured on this page, and you’ll win a free one-year subscription to DT! Don’t miss out on a great opportunity—visit dancemedia.com, share your videos and vote for your favorites. Any and all kinds of dance are welcome.

Photo by Andre Marshall, Sr.

Teaching Tips
A 2019 Dancewave training. Photo by Effy Grey, courtesy Dancewave

By now, most dance educators hopefully understand that they have a responsibility to address racism in the studio. But knowing that you need to be actively cultivating racial equity isn't the same thing as knowing how to do so.

Of course, there's no easy answer, and no perfect approach. As social justice advocate David King emphasized at a recent interactive webinar, "Cultivating Racial Equity in the Classroom," this work is never-ending. The event, hosted by Dancewave (which just launched a new racial-equity curriculum) was a good starting point, though, and offered some helpful takeaways for dance educators committed to racial justice.

Keep reading... Show less
Higher Ed
The author, Robyn Watson. Photo courtesy Watson

Recently, I posted a thread of tweets elucidating the lack of respect for tap dance in college dance programs, and arguing that it should be a requirement for dance majors.

According to onstageblog.com, out of the 30 top-ranked college dance programs in the U.S., tap dance is offered at 19 of them, but only one school requires majors to take more than a beginner course—Oklahoma City University. Many prestigious dance programs, like the ones at NYU Tisch School of the Arts and SUNY Purchase, don't offer a single course in tap dance.

Keep reading... Show less
Teaching Tips
Getty Images

After months of lockdowns and virtual learning, many studios across the country are opening their doors and returning to in-person classes. Teachers and students alike have likely been chomping at the bit in anticipation of the return of dance-class normalcy that doesn't require a reliable internet connection or converting your living room into a dance space.

But along with the back-to-school excitement, dancers might be feeling rusty from being away from the studio for so long. A loss of flexibility, strength and stamina is to be expected, not to mention emotional fatigue from all of the uncertainty and reacclimating to social activities.

So as much as everyone wants to get back to normal—teachers and studio owners included—erring on the side of caution with your dancers' training will be the most beneficial approach in the long run.

Keep reading... Show less

Get Dance Business Weekly in your inbox

Sign Up Used in accordance with our Privacy Policy.